Google Ads is an excellent advertising tool that makes it possible to increase sales enormously... as long as it is used correctly. In this article, we will explain why ads often fail to deliver the expected results. To do so, we present 6 common Google Ads mistakes that you absolutely must avoid in order to achieve measurable success with your campaigns.
1) Campaign Setting
Wrongly selected advertising networks
In Google Ads, do not make the mistake of specifying the Search Network and the Google Display Network together as networks for an ad. You would then fail to reach your target group optimally because each ad network has its own rules. Furthermore, creating individual campaigns also serves to measure success and opportunities for continuous optimisation because users are addressed in different ways and contexts.
- Search network: the search network, for instance, is aimed at those actively seeking information or products. For example, if a user searches for something specific on Google, he is likely to click on one of the ads if he thinks it offers him a solution.
- Display network: display ads allow ads to be played on thematically suitable Internet pages. In this case, the advertisements must be designed in a very appealing way to draw the user's attention to your advertisement.
Wrong or missing campaign objective
Be clear about how Google Ads campaigns fit into the overall marketing objectives. If the campaign objective is wrong or absent, many areas of the campaign will suffer. A missing or missed objective can extend from ad network selection to the selection of appropriate landing pages. Choosing the wrong campaign objective will never allow you to achieve the desired results at the expense of the money you have invested. For this reason, it is necessary to determine exactly what objective you are pursuing with Google Ads.
Blindly trusting the 'best matching keyword' option is a mistake. You have so little control over the way Google Ads matches your keywords to search queries. Moreover, Google Ads is usually very generous with this option when it comes to interpreting terms. It could therefore happen that your advertisements are displayed for keywords that do not match your keywords on a semantic level.
Another mistake often made when setting up campaigns is to include very different keywords in the same ad group. At first glance, some keywords may seem very similar in terms of wording and content, but on closer inspection they differ significantly. Here is a brief example:
The keywords 'smartphone XY price comparison' and 'smartphone XY test' appear to be very similar. When searching for a price comparison, the user has already decided to buy a smartphone and merely inquires about the different prices. In the second test search, it appears that the evaluation of alternatives is still ongoing. Therefore, it is always advisable to pay attention to the search intention of the search terms and create the respective ad groups for the different keywords.
If you want to delve deeper into the world of keywords, we recommend reading our article 'Keywords in Google Ads'.
Another Google Ads mistake concerns prices. To avoid unnecessary costs, determine how much you are willing to pay for a click. You can set a maximum budget per day for individual advertisements. Use this option. If the goal is to increase sales or newsletter subscriptions, it makes sense to bid on a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis.
It is important to know that conversion data are required to activate most offer strategies. You should achieve at least 15 conversions within 30 days. The more data you can offer Google for each campaign, the better your bidding strategies will work.
Prices that aren't smart
Smart Bidding can make a lot of sense under the right circumstances. They are 'bid strategies that use machine learning to optimise for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction' (full explanation on Smart Bidding here). While these automated bid strategies have gained experience and are constantly being improved, they only work if sufficient data is available. According to Google, automated bidding for display campaigns only makes sense from around 15 conversions per month, as conversions determine how Google adjusts bidding.
4) Conversion tracking
Conversion tracking is a very important, if not the most important tool in your advertising account and it's free! Before you even spend a single penny of your advertising budget, you should make sure that all your data (KPIs), such as number of clicks, cost per click, etc., are tracked correctly, so that you can tailor them to your business objective (leading to website purchases, registrations or form filling). Because without proper tracking, the ad service is meaningless. You neither know how to allocate your advertising budget nor whether your campaigns are paying off.
Set up conversion tracking for your website by reading this documentation on Google.
5) Assets (ex extensions)
Ad assets (formerly called extensions) are additional functions that can be very valuable for your ads. Many companies, however, make the mistake of not using them. A location or call asset, for instance, would allow your customers to find you directly and contact you easily. Of course, these extensions do not make sense for all companies.
Among numerous assets, Google also offers sitelinks, additional information and snippet extensions for your advertisements. Evaluate which extensions are suitable for your business. You can add extensions at different levels. For instance, at the account level, location extensions make sense for local businesses.
6) Google Analytics
Many companies make this mistake: they do not exploit the full potential of Google Ads. Link your Google Ads account to Google Analytics to avoid this mistake with Google Ads. Analytics is free and is a beneficial extension to Google Ads. Analytics measure your success. Link your tracking and get more precise data on campaigns and keywords that perform well. In this way, you can further reduce the error rate in your Google Ads account.
From mistakes we learn, and this is also true for our Google Ads account. It is important to remember the information we have discussed in this article. Avoid these mistakes and if you find any you can correct them. Good luck!
If, on the other hand, you are stuck or lack the necessary technical skills to set up or solve issues related to Google Ads campaigns, do not hesitate to contact us without obligation and we will provide you with a free initial consultation.